The Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Winfred Ofosu says health personnel in the region will soon be trained in the coming weeks on infection prevention to improve screening at the region’s borders in line with the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
He reiterated that the service will strengthen triaging at all health facilities in the region to better manage suspected cases of the novel coronavirus.
Speaking at the regional health performance review meeting in Bolgatanga on the theme, “The role of Quality Data in Achieving Universal Health Coverage”, Dr. Ofosu reiterated his outfit’s commitment to working with all key stakeholders for early detection and management of any coronavirus case in the region.
“From next week, we are going to roll out refresher training to the health staff as part of continuous preparation, improve screening at points of entry, strengthen triaging in our health facilities and work with everyone for early detection and containment of the disease should the disease enter our country.”
“We want to increase the number of people at the points of entry and particularly have some more critical technical staff like disease control officers and nurses who will be able to screen for the symptoms of the disease so that it will not be only about taking temperatures and recording them,” he said.
Dr. Ofosu assured that his outfit was working assiduously with community health volunteers within the region’s borders to track illegal immigrants for screening.
He further expressed worry at the lack of infectious disease holding unit at all the region’s borders and appealed to government and non-governmental organizations for assistance.
“The holding rooms at the points of entry is a challenge. Apart from Paga that has one, the other places do not have holding places. But what we have done is to task every district director of health to look for holding places so that once we detect we should be able to quarantine the person whilst we conduct investigations to confirm whether or not it is Covid-19 infection.”
“But as time goes on, we will try and see with other stakeholders if we can get holding rooms at the various points of entry. So, we need other organizations to help us put up holding rooms at the Kulungugu, Pulmakom, Namoo and Mognori entry points,” he pleaded.
The region recorded a decline in maternal mortality of 82% of deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019 compared to 91.4% of deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018 and 137.5% of deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017.
Even though stillbirths reduced slightly, neonatal deaths increased from 6.3% of deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018 to 8.7% of deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019.
Also, non-compliant of HIV mothers on mother-to-child-transmission resulted in 9.7% of mother transmitted infections to their babies.
The region recorded a decline in malnutrition rate of 3.5% in 2018 to 2.6% in 2019 while malaria fatality for children under 5 also reduced from 0.1% in 2018 to 0.0% in 2019.
Again, skilled delivery in the region increased from 70.6% in 2018 to 73.5% in 2019.